As a Profit for Purpose organisation, our mission is to support local communities with purposeful employment and education. We also recognise the impact that our consumption and activity can have on the developing work, so for two years now we’ve been working with ISP Uganda, providing financial support and collaboration and here is why.
There are 2,500,000 orphan children in Uganda. Many of these children live in slum villages and have very little to no access to clean drinking water, food, clothing, adequate shelter or access to education. When we learned of the situation there we had to do something about it.
As little as $1.00 can go a long way in Uganda. With the average annual salary for a school teacher being less than $200 USD for an entire school year, it is very clear that we could make a real impact by focusing on developing a partnership with ISP to help the disadvantaged youth in Uganda.
Michael and James, who were still in high school at the time, were fortunate to travel to Africa with their parents and experienced first hand the people of Zambia and Tanzania and their way of life. Of particular life-changing significance was an experience Michael recalls having near Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe:
We had just got out of the water following a crazy white-water rafting adventure down Grade 5 crocodile infested river rapids. We were all very hot and thirsty walking back up out of the canyon to our bus in the middle of the hot African day, the red sand reflecting burning heat back up from the ground. We were grateful to be handed a fresh cold water bottle for the ride home as we boarded the shuttle bus that would take us back to the resort. As we were driving through a local village, on a red sandy 4WD path (the resort bus route goes right through the middle of many small 5-15 mud-hut villages on a daily basis), our driver slowed down as the bus became surrounded by a group of small children ranging from 4-8 years of age. We started waving our hands at the children who seemed to be yelling and smiling at us. As me moved forward through the children the bus driver began to speed away as if to get away from them and the children began running alongside the bus jumping and screaming. I asked the bus driver what they were saying and he said:
“They are wanting you to throw them your plastic water bottles out the window.”
To which I immediately sensed what he meant and I hurled my half drunk bottle of water out of the window. Not many of the other people did and most passengers simply looked on feeling like the children were crazy. I think those passengers simply wanted to get back to their air-conditioned 5 star resort for a midday nap after their gruelling white-water rapids adventure!
I was completely awestruck at how these children took their effort to the extreme only to compete for a simple water bottle which I threw from the window of a moving bus. I will never forget that one small 4ish years old looking boy out in front with a massive smile on his face as he sprinted barefoot alongside the bus. As he looked at me I threw my bottle towards him and he reached out his tiny hands to grab it. However his joy was only short-lived as a much larger older boy who was close at his heels pushed past him to claim the bottle for himself. Poor little boy ended up crashing into the red sand, face first.
This for me was an incredibly powerful experience that forever changed the way I look at the world. I realised that nothing is necessarily what it seems and happiness is mostly a matter of perspective.
Travelling through remote parts of Africa during their formative years was an important experience for Michael and James. What they experienced in Uganda imprinted deeply on their young brains and made them realise how fortunate they are in Australia.
As the years progress the context provided by this experience has helped James and I to appreciate and be grateful for all that we do have here in Australia and reinforces the importance of reaching back to help those who really need it.
Why ISP Uganda?
In 2017 Total Green Recycling received yet another email from African continent requesting help, however, something different about this email resonated with Michael. The author of the request, Mr Kasujja Muhamed, wrote so sincerely and was so genuinely heartfelt in communicating on behalf of his people that Michael felt compelled to help however possible.
It would take more than 1 year of regular communication through Whatsapp, nevertheless, finally in September of 2018 Total Green Recycling was able to officially partner with ISP Uganda and begin providing further financial support to this wonderful charity.
Keep a Kid in School Program
We have been working with Kasujja and his team since 2016. We began by building and hosting the ISP Uganda website: www.ischoolspartnership.org
Next, we established a program of ongoing financial support. It is through Total Green’s Asset Management service that we support the Keep a Kid in School Program in remote villages of Uganda. For every laptop that we are able to recover and refurbish for reuse, we’ve been donating $1.00 dollar.
These laptops are recovered from numerous schools, government departments and professional businesses around Western Australia who allow us to reuse and recycle their retired IT equipment. It is due to these clients’ ongoing support and commitment that we have been able to establish this ongoing program.
Keep a Kid in School Program is helping disadvantaged youth in Uganda to gain an education by providing schools with teachers and basic equipment such as books, pens and clothing.
So thank you for helping us to make the difference where it matters!